Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

***FREE EVENTS***
The month of May. One of the best months of the year. Many of our family were born in this month so we have a lot of celebrating to do. As well as the current UK Prime Minister being called May, apparently 9 UK prime ministers were actually born in May, which is more than any other month. Maybe one day one of us will be PM!

May also gives us two Bank Holiday Weekends, another week of school holidays and it really starts to get warmer, lighter and we all start feeling better. To celebrate here are some of the FREE family events and activities taking place in and around North East England in May, including Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Durham and Teesside.


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

If you know of any other free events please email them to me and I’ll add them to the list.



ROTHBURY FOOD AND CRAFT FESTIVAL

Monday May 1 - 10am to 4pm
Rothbury, Northumberland
Starting out as a small, family event with 20 stalls, the festival has grown in popularity with traders and the public alike year on year. Over 10,000 craft and food lovers have flocked to this lively, bustling event, which in 2016 boasted over 60 stalls, to browse the wares, sample some delicious food and drink and enjoy its picturesque riverside location. 
The Event is held on Church Street in the centre of the village with a large marquee and Street Food. Car parking is available throughout the village


Bamburgh Indoor Market

Monday May 1 - 11am to 3pm
Village Green, Bamburgh, Northumberland
Lots on offer at our indoor market. At the foot of the beautiful Bamburgh Castle with the cricket pitch stretched out in front of us and the sea beckoning from behind, it's the perfect place to pop in for a visit and refreshments and to browse our array of stalls.
More info:



NOSTALGIA DAY


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Monday May 1 – 11am to 4pm
Market Place and Walkergate , Durham City
Nostalgia Day will bring entertainment for all on Monday 1st May, 2017 with themed entertainment and activities.  As well as a Vintage and General Market in the Market Place, there'll be the World War II living history group Yesterday's Heroes, with military vehicles and supplies, and entertainment from Jay B.  In Walkergate, you can enjoy the swing sounds of big band Echo 42. Also in the city centre, you'll find the Beamish 'Heartbeat' Bus in attendance together with members of the United Enthusiasts Club who know just about all there is to know about the history of the region's buses.



1940'S WEEKEND


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Monday 1 May 11am to 3pm
Stephenson Railway Museum
Let them transport you back in time with the sights, sounds and smells of the forties.
The museum will be brought to life by re-enactors who’ll recreate the everyday spirit of the period. Have your hair styled in a victory roll or pick up some forties fashions or accessories from Hepkat Kitten Vintage Hairstyling. Dance to the songs performed by the Sparky and Sprite duet. UKHomefront will be joined by a Bevin Boy, 1940s railway men, women in their pinnies and curlers having a ‘wash day’, the ladies of the Land Army and our brave home guard 'other ranks' on leave.


Spring Steam Gala & Craft Fair


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Monday May 1 - 10am to 4pm
Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, County Durham
The ever-popular toy fair continues on May Day and with an abundance of stalls and traders selling everything from steam trains to superheroes. With talls offering a great range of craft and gift items - the perfect place to pick up an unusual present for a loved one, or a treat for yourself!


Proper Food and Drink Festival


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Monday 1 May – 10am to 5pm
Northumberland Square, North Shields
Some of the region's finest artisan food producers will be in North Shields for the final day of Proper Food and Drink Festival. Proper food and drink festivals bring together all foodies, feasting on some real goodies. All of the traders are independent artisan producers who produce some amazing culinary delights. 
More info: 


Family Quilting with Louise Underwood


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Saturday 6 May 10am to 12pm
Shipley Art Gallery
Help to create a celebratory centenary quilt for the Shipley Art Gallery Centenary celebrations with local Artist, Louise Underwood. In this session, families are invited to bring along their pre-worn, lightweight cotton clothes to design and make a patch that will contribute to the centenary quilt inspired by the Shipley craft collections. Using items of recycled clothing and traditional quilting techniques the quilt will present family stories, memories and designs. Please note that due to time restraints, the patch will not be completed during this session but you are invited to start your family patch in the session and then return it to the gallery when it is completed.

The finished quilt will be on display in the Shipley Art gallery in November as part of the official birthday celebrations.
Booking tickets is essential for this event.


Creature-pedia


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Saturday 6 May 10.30am to 12.30pm & 1.30pm to 12.30pm
Great North Museum, Newcastle
Have you ever wanted to create your own animal? Now's your chance...
At this new drop-in event for families at the exhibition Bones: Skeleton Secrets of the Animal World, you can help create an encyclopaedia of weird and wonderful creatures. There will be three activity stations in the exhibition:

  • At station one, you can build your own crazy creature out of paper bones.
  • At station two, you can glue your creature together, colour, name and draw your creation, as well as think about its diet and habitat. And add your creature to our online blog ‘Creature-pedia’.
  • At station three, you can match up animal photos with their skeletons - all of which can be seen up close in the exhibition.
The activity is designed for children aged 7+ to enjoy along with their adults.
More info:


FULL MOON MARKET


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Tuesday 9 May – 4pm to 9pm
Market Place, Durham City
The Full Moon Market is back in Durham bringing the best street food producers the North East has to offer to an open air market!  Adding to the atmosphere, there will be live music too.

Consett Craft Collective



Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Saturday 13 May – 12noon to 3pm
St Patricks Hall, Consett, County Durham
Craft and gift market with variety of hand crafted goods and baked goods. There's an opportunity for children to get creative with a craft workshop and face painting and glitter tattoos on offer.


Distinctly Delicious Food Festival

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 May - 10am to 5pm
Darlington
A fun-packed scrumptious weekend of the best local food producers, chef and mixology demonstrations, tastings, street entertainment and street food in Darlington. 
More info:

WILD AT KIELDER


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May






Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May
Kielder, Northumberland

A weekend festival celebrating the wildlife that can be seen in Kielder Water & Forest Park with a weekend full of wildlife-themed activities. You’ll be joining Kielder volunteers and wildlife experts to experience the wilder side of Kielder Water and Forest Park. There will be a huge range of activities to choose from including wild food foraging, wilderness survival, getting closer to our feathered friends, wild walking tours, wildlife cruises and wildlife themed cycle tours. 
Some events are free of charge. 





Rover P6 Club Rally

Sunday 14 May - 10am to 5pm
Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, County Durham
A classic Rover show at Locomotion!



The Late Shows


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Friday 19 & Saturday 20 May
NewcastleGateshead
There are a number of family-friendly events as part of The Late Shows - a free late-night culture crawl in NewcastleGateshead. During The Late Shows, museums, galleries, studio collectives and landmark historical buildings come together to offer visitors one-off events including hands-on workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, performances and parties.



BALLOONS InDURHAM


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Friday 26 – Monday 29 May
Durham
Look to the skies as the Durham horizon lights up with hot air balloons galore. A brand new festival, Balloons InDurham will be like nothing you have seen before. There will be events across the City spread over four days, providing you with plenty of reasons to come in and explore the City; to shop, to dine and to see the incredible hot air balloons.
Friday 26th May
6.30-7.30 pm - Mass Balloon Launch, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
Saturday 27th May
6.30-7.30 am - Mass Balloon Launch, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
1-3 pm - Balloon Tethers, Palace Green, Durham City
1-4 pm - Balloon Tethers, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
6.30-7.30 pm - Mass Balloon Launch, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
9.30-10.15 pm - Night Glow, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
Sunday 28th May
6.30-7.30 am - Mass Balloon Launch, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
1-3 pm - Balloon Tethers, Palace Green, Durham City
1-4 pm - Balloon Tethers, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
6.30-7.30 pm - Mass Balloon Launch, East Durham College Houghall Campus,
8.30-10 pm - Illuminated Tethers, Palace Green, Durham City
Monday 29th May
6.30-7.30 am Mass Balloon Launch, East Durham College Houghall Campus,

All activities are subject to weather conditions. Visit the website and social media channels for up-to-date information.


WHITLEY BAY CARNIVAL

Saturday 27 May from 11am
Whitley Bay, North Tyneside
Whitley Bay Carnival is back on the late May Bank Holiday weekend bringing live music, crafts, street theatre, food & family fun to the Spanish City Plaza. Celebrating the natural environment in 2017 the carnival parade sets off from the metro for the Spanish City at 11am Saturday 27th via Station Road, Whitley Road and Park View. The Carnival brings local artists and the community together to showcase the best of the seaside town. The walking parade features beautifully crafted structures and extravagant costumes.




TOUR SERIES


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Saturday 27 May - 3pm to 7pm 
Durham City
The 2017 Tour Series’ penultimate round will take place on Saturday 27 May in Durham. A firm favourite with cycling fans from across the North of England, supporters will be able to cheer on Britain’s fastest teams as they tackle this fearsome circuit, including the infamous cobbled climb of South Street. Men's Race is 5.30pm - 6.45pm


Half Term Arts & Crafts


Sat 27 May - Sun 4 Jun, 11am -2pm
Sage Gateshead
Join I the fun on the Concourse for some free crafty fun this May Half Term to keep little fingers busy!


Reach for the Beach Festival

Saturday 27 May – 4 June
Durham Heritage Coast
Reach for the Beach is an outdoor festival featuring a wide range of activities to help families make the most of the school holiday and to encourage more local people and visitors to appreciate this beautiful coastline – both on and off-shore! There is a whole week of activities to celebrate the amazing coastline in Durham.


AMBLE PUFFIN FESTIVAL

Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Saturday 27 May – Saturday 3 June
Amble, Northumbrland
Amble Puffin Festival celebrates everything Puffin! Fun and activities in the Friendliest Port at the best time of year to see the Coquet Island Puffins, as they prepare to take care for their newly hatched pufflings. The festival will include: guided nature walks, bird watching, local history talks, photo exhibitions, arts and crafts, watersports and live music. There will be events to interest all age groups. Events will be held in a variety of locations throughout the town.

Main Puffin Festival: Sat 27 - Mon 29 May
Fringe events: Tues 30 May - Fri 2 June
The Colony music festival: Sat 3 June

To see the colony of over 20,000 Puffins, you can take a boat cruise from Amble Harbour. These family-run boat trips take visitors around historic Coquet Island, about a mile offshore. Weather permitting you will be able to see the Puffins and all the other wildlife who make this RSPB managed nature reserve their home. Coquet Island is famous for being home to the UK’s sole colony of Roseate Terns as well as providing a safe haven for Sandwich Terns, Arctic Terns, Common Terns, Kittiwakes, Fulmar, Eider Ducks and Grey Seals. Please note, no landing is allowed on the island.
More info



Northumberland Day at Woodhorn

Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Sunday 28 May
Ashington, Northumberland
Celebrate the fabulous county and history with a visit to Woodhorn! Discover the coal-mining heritage and learn about the stuff that made Ashington the largest pit village in the world. Don't forget Woodhorn is home to the world famous Pitmen Painters. Discover an amazing exhibition with over 80 paintings recording life in and around Ashington from 1934 - 1984.


Rothbury Street Fair

Monday 29 May
Rothbury, Northumberland
The Rothbury Street fair is a much loved event in the North East's event calendar. It takes place every year on Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday in the lovely traditional stone market town of Rothbury under the town's famous avenue of horse chestnuts - which flower just in time for the event every year! There will be plenty to see, do and eat and all in the lovely surroundings of one of Northumberland's oldest and prettiest villages.
More info:



Discovery Days

Tues 30 May & Thurs June 1 - 11am to 3pm
School holiday family drop-in sessions
Discovery Museum, Newcastle
These school holiday drop-ins use everyday materials as a basis for visitors to create models and tools to explore the world around us. These activities are designed to encourage and facilitate learning through crafts, play, invention and tinkering.




Proper Food and Drink Festival

Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Saturday 27 – Monday 29 May – 10am to 5pm
Bents Park, South Tyneside
Over sixty of the region's finest artisan food producers will be returning to Bents Park for this year's Proper Food and Drink Festival over the Spring Bank Holiday. They will be selling a wide selection of food from around the world. Pick up some unusual spices, delicious cakes, homemade cheese and lots more! There will be a wide array of hot food to buy and enjoy in the huge outdoor picnic area, and there is a licensed bar selling real ales & ciders from Wylam Brewery and others, plus a wine and cocktail bar. Throughout the weekend there will be a live entertainment too.
Hugely popular in previous years be sure not to miss this great event!


Digital Makings

Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

Wednesday 31 May - 10am-12.30pm & 1-3.30pm

Gateshead Central Library

Join Karen Underhill, a Digital Makings artists in residence for this free drop in workshop. Karen is collecting drawings, photographs and stories to capture all the great things that happen in Gateshead libraries. Come and share your love of reading, tell her about your family history research or get your family to draw their favourite storybook character. Karen will turn all your ideas into a large artwork that will be created at the end of the project in September 2017.
Suitable for all ages. Free – Just turn up.
More info:



Hope you enjoy May!

If you know of any other free events please email them to me and I’ll add them to the list.

Deb x

4 Comments

  1. Great list Debbie. I'll share on my page.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some great activities going on in May. I love the sound of the balloon festival!

    ReplyDelete